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Leafs Struggle In Motor City

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

October 1, 2010
Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, MI
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It was a rough night for the Leafs from puck drop. Despite their slow start, they trailed 4-2 after 40 minutes and were within striking distance but NIklas Kronwall's goal just 2:28 into the third sealed the Leafs' fate.

Mike Komisarek was called for interference and just four seconds into the power play Kronwall blasted the point shot past Jussi Rynnas. Detroit would go on to add two more goals in the period as they took the game to the Leafs outshooting them 16-4 in the final period.

4 Power play goals for Phil Kessel during the preseason.
16:57 Ice-time for Jeff Finger in his first preseason game.
4 Shots for the Leafs in the third period.
29 Hits for the Red Wings.
15 Blocked shots for the Leafs.
1st Star
Jiri Hudler
G A P +/- Shots
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2nd Star
Mike Modano
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 -2 2
3rd Star
Kris Versteeg
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +1 4
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After spending the 2009-10 season in the KHL with Dynamo Moscow, Jiri Hudler returned to the Red Wings this season and the Red Wings couldn't be happier in getting the gifted forward back in the lineup.

Hudler had two goals against the Leafs Friday. His first came on the power play and his second after he tipped home the point shot. Hudler is a talented offensive player who will be a big addition to the third line with Mike Modano and Daniel Cleary and on the power play.

Since his acquisition back in June, there were lofty expectations for Kris Versteeg and so far in the preseason he has been everything that the Leafs could've hoped and much more.

The Leafs' top line of Versteeg, Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel has been dominant since being put together. The line had both Leafs' goals and Versteeg made great passes to both Bozak and Kessel. Versteeg now has seven points in five preseason games.

After having a strong game against Ottawa on the penalty kill, the Leafs struggled mightily against the Red Wings Friday. The first thing is they took too many as they were whistled for seven penalties.

Detroit had most of its regulars in the lineup and its power play was humming. They moved the puck, had a player in front of the net all the time and the Leafs were not able to force them into mistakes. After Saturday's game, the Leafs will have four days to work on penalty killing.

Ron Wilson on Toronto's tough night in the Motor City:
"The Red Wings were flying. Jussi (Rynnas) struggled a little and when you get behind the 8-ball and you have to open things up to get back in the game it's not the way you want to play the Red Wings ... ever ... there's certainly some things we got schooled in tonight. It's a good game for someone like Nazem Kadri to see how hard that team back checks and does all the little detail work."

Saturday October 2 vs. Detroit 
7 PM ET (CBC, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs close out the preseason as they host the Red Wings in the second game of the back-to-back.

Depending on injuries you could see the Leafs' Opening Night roster in action. J.S. Giguere is expected to start in net for the Leafs.

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